New bill capping-compliant solution for UK MVNOs offered by Transatel

Transatel has launched a solution to help mobile service providers and MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) in the UK comply with the requirement of offering bill limits to their subscribers.

The legal obligation described under section 124S of the UK Communications Act came into effect on October 1st and should progressively be enforced by the regulator, Ofcom. Complying with this obligation, nonetheless, requires specific technical capabilities, which Transatel was keen to address.

As a measure of consumer protection in the UK, the legislation provides that subscribers of mobile services must be given the opportunity to specify a bill limit, before entering into a contract with a mobile provider. The limit must be established at reasonable increments, both in terms of value and in terms of how often the customer can change the bill limit.

The regulation also states that if a customer runs up charges beyond the bill cap, the excess is at the sole expense of the service provider. This prerequisite to mobile contracts in the UK understandably places new and complex obligations on mobile providers.

The challenge for mobile service providers is that most receive details of their customers’ calls, SMS and data traffic, in the form of Call Data Records (CDRs), from the underlying mobile networks at intervals that are too large to trigger relevant alerts. Most only obtain CDRs once daily, and sometimes even less frequently, in certain cases of roaming traffic.

Transatel delivers CDRs to Pay- Monthly and FMC clients in near-real time, thus enabling their service provider clients to update customer usage against any specified bill-cap limit, on a near-real time basis. This service also includes all roaming traffic. Via an API, Transatel can help MVNOs bar calls once the limit has been reached. In addition, Transatel’s new Smart Barring allows the service to route subsequent calls by the customer to their own call centre.

Philippe Vigneau, Transatel VP of business development says: “This is yet another example of Transatel leading the way in the MVNO market in the UK, bringing Pay-as-you-go, Pay Monthly and Fixed-Mobile Converged solutions to its customers. Now, our near-real time CDR generation capability and Smart Barring Solutions help our customers manage the risks passed onto them because of the new regulation”